12 Dec 2017
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BBC Worldwide, Cuba Pictures deepen existing relationship

MUMBAI: BBC Worldwide, Cuba Pictures and Curtis Brown have announced that they are to strike a closer relationship, designed to maximise the future success of the drama production arm of one of the world’s oldest literary agencies.

BBC Worldwide and Cuba Pictures have partnered on content development and distribution since 2014. The new agreement will see BBC Worldwide’s first look across all television output initially extended for a further five years, until 2021.

To cement the partnership, BBC Worldwide will invest in Original Talent Ltd, the newly created parent company for both Cuba Pictures and Curtis Brown, taking a 10% shareholding. BBC Worldwide will be represented by one director on the board of Cuba Pictures and one on the Original Talent board, along with joint Curtis Brown CEOs Ben Hall and Jonny Geller, Sarah Spear and Nick Marston.

Cuba Pictures was set up in 2008 under CEO Nick Marston to produce the highest quality British scripted television series and films, for which it has won a string of awards. With Dixie Linder as its head of Film and Television, Cuba Pictures’ television credits include ‘Boy A’ for Channel 4, with The Weinstein Company, and ‘Coalition’also for Channel 4, ‘Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell’ for BBC One. It is currently working on new commissions ‘McMafia’ for BBC One and ‘Paula’ for BBC Two with BBC Northern Ireland.

Cuba additionally has a film portfolio – ‘Broken’, ‘London Road’ and ‘The Ones Below’ all for BBC Films – which is not covered by the output agreement with BBC Worldwide.

Curtis Brown joint CEO, Jonny Geller said, “BBC Worldwide has, over many years, proven itself a first-class partner for independent British production companies. Coming on the back of an established working relationship, our closer collaboration will help us accelerate Cuba Pictures’ ambitions.”

Curtis Brown joint CEO Ben Hall said, “This new relationship will unlock further production opportunities from the richness of Curtis Brown’s talent relationships and access to IP. I am proud of all that Cuba Pictures has achieved to date, and excited about what we can deliver for a range of commissioners and channels in the future.”

BBC Worldwide chief content officer Helen Jackson said, “This deeper partnership is one of a small number we are forging with independent producers of the highest quality content – securing access and facilitating new premium content. It is an investment in British creativity, with Cuba Pictures’ quality credentials already evident. As well as retaining a long-term content partner for BBC Worldwide, this deeper relationship lets us back a British production team playing on the world’s content stage for the next phase of its growth and success.”